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Guidebooks: Davidson Institute Guidebooks

Considering the Options: A Guidebook for Investigating Early College Entrance (Parent Version)

The Davidson Institute Team and Nancy Robinson, Ph.D., teamed up to write this guidebook designed to help you assess certain aspects of your child’s readiness for early college entrance. Sources and tips are listed for financial aid, distance learning and correspondence options, college guides, alternative schooling and more.

Considering the Options: A Guidebook for Investigating Early College Entrance (Student Version)

The Davidson Institute Team and Nancy Robinson, Ph.D., teamed up to write this guidebook designed to help students assess certain aspects of their readiness for early college entrance. Tips and advice are provided on self-exploration, advantages and disadvantages, alternatives and preparation.

Considering Your Options: A Guidebook for Investigating Gap Year Opportunities

This guidebook is a tool for both parents and students who are considering a gap year as an educational option. Readers will find information on gap year options for students under the age of 18, the pros and cons of taking a gap year, what colleges think of students who pursue a gap year and much more.

Organizations: International

The Leap

The Leap offers gap year placements which combine multiple locations and volunteering project opportunities in a single trip. This means students challenge both their minds and bodies, while making a positive difference and satisfying their desire for travel and adventure, all at once.

Organizations: National

Early Entrance Foundation

Providing outreach, recruitment, and scholarships in order to expand early entrance opportunities to minority and under-represented students.

Organizations: State

California High School Proficiency Examination (CHSPE) (CA)

Students who pass the CHSPE can earn the legal equivalent of a high school diploma. The CHSPE consists of two sections: an English-language Arts section and a Mathematics section. If students pass both sections of the CHSPE, the California State Board of Education will award a Certificate of Proficiency, which by state law is equivalent to a high school diploma (although not equivalent to completing all coursework required for regular graduation from high school).

Printed Materials: Books

College at 13: Young, gifted and purposeful

This book describes 14 highly gifted young women, now in their 30s, who left home to attend college at age 13 to 16, skipping all or most of high school. This book is designed to help educators and parents understand that gifted kids need academic challenge, that there are colleges with specific programs for such students, that it doesn’t harm them to leave home early and that keeping them interested in learning is vitally important.

College Comes Sooner Than You Think! : The College Planning Guide for High School Students and Their Families

Authored by teachers Jill Reilly and Bonnie Featherstone, this is a necessary book for those starting the college planning process. Topics include: evaluation of the student's strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes; career exploration; taking the necessary tests; shopping for college; preparing college applications; campus visits; planning finances and other helpful tools.

College Planning for Gifted Students (3rd Edition)

This book is a must-have for any gifted or advanced learner planning to attend college. Sandra Berger, a nationally recognized expert on college and career planning for gifted students, provides a hands-on, practical guide to college planning in this revised edition. Berger leads students through the college planning process, moving from self-exploration, to college matching, to the application process. The author also provides useful, practical advice for writing college application essays, requesting recommendation letters, visiting colleges and acing the college entrance interview. Click here to read a review of this book.

Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges

In an era when college rankings and name-brand recognition seem to drive the search process, many students, parents and counselors may be left questioning the options for a good college match. Click here to read a review of the 2006 edition of this book.

Cool Colleges: For the Hyper-Intelligent, Self-Directed, Late Blooming and Just Plain Different

This unprecedented guide to the "coolest" colleges profiles forty of the most innovative and unusual schools in the country. Study on a cattle ranch where you work for your tuition. Spend winters snowed in with your classmates on a mountain in Vermont. Or try an experiential curriculum, where all of your classes are taught outdoors. Each school features quotes from currently enrolled students. In addition, the book includes a mini-profiles of other "cool" schools, including: free colleges, women's and men's colleges, military colleges, Ivy League colleges, colleges with unusual facilities, colleges favoring minorities, and more.

Early College Programs: Summer College Programs for High School Students

This book by author Robert Hydrisko is the nation's first guidebook for pre-college and enrichment programs for high school students. Find out where and why more than 30,000 high school students attend early college programs every year. A must-read for parents, counselors, librarians, teachers, and students.

Early Entrance to College: A Guide To Success

This book by Michelle Muratori, identifies important issues that need to be discussed and choices that need to be made before and after one enters college. Muratori explores factors affecting academic, social, and emotional adjustment to college. Click here to read a review of this book.

Fiske Guide to Getting into the Right College

This book is an exceptionally useful overview for the college bound. Information on everything from interviews to standardized tests, college essays, and financing is included, along with a "road map" of institutions, organized into such categories as "Small College Bargains," "Most Innovative Curriculums," and "Colleges for Students with Learning Disabilities." Tthere is a selective roundup of listings by subject specialty--engineering, architecture, business, etc.

From Homeschool to College and Work

This book is about turning homeschooled experiences into college and job portfolios. As a parent who homeschooled and, more importantly, unschooled her children since birth, McKee had often pondered how she would go about writing a college portfolio if her children chose to attend college. This book outlines how her family wrote two successful college portfolios. Topics covered are (1) how to get started (2) documenting the learning process (3) compiling data for a portfolio (4) putting a final document together to create a college admissions portfolio or job resume.

Greenes' Guides to Educational Planning: The Hidden Ivies - Thirty Colleges of Excellence

The Hidden Ivies focuses on liberal arts colleges and universities that are of comparable quality to the Ivies. Based on surveys and interviews with students as well as college presidents, deans of faculty, and other administrators, The Hidden Ivies presents an inside perspective of thirty leading institutions of exceptional merit. These colleges and universities provide an outstanding educational experience for the gifted college-bound student and provide the foundation for life after graduation.

Homeschoolers College Admissions Handbook

This book is for homeschooling families who are looking at college. The transition from homeschooling children to preparing them for success in college requires planning and preparation. As the parent of a homeschooler, there are many issues to consider besides academic excellence: fulfilling other people's expectations and standards, tackling standardized tests and application essays, and introducing your homeschooler to the atmosphere of a college campus.

How to Go to College Almost for Free: The Secrets of Winning Scholarship Money

Ben Kaplan shares his scholarship-winning secrets in an intelligent and funny voice that's very student-friendly. This how-to guide is an helpful tool for students and parents.

No Regrets: How Homeschooling Earned Me a Master's Degree at Age 16

This book is Alexandra Swann's personal story of her homeschooling career and her very early entrance into college via a distance learning/independent study bachelor's degree program. It espouses a philosophy of homeschooling called "accelerated academics." Alexandra and her nine siblings were all homeschooled and completed high school work by the ages of 11 or 12. Although the "gifted" word is never mentioned in this book, it is obvious that this is a very gifted girl with very gifted siblings. This book also tells the story of how a homeschooling family stuck together in good times and bad. At 16, with a master's degree in hand, Alexandra became a community college instructor.

The College Admissions Mystique

In this fresh and plainspoken book, admissions professional Bill Mayher demystifies the college application process, guiding students and parents through this too often anxiety-filled ritual.

The Complete Book of Colleges, 2014 Edition (College Admissions Guides)

The Princeton Review's Complete Book of Colleges profiles more than 1,600 colleges and universities, and shows students what they need for a successful college search. The book includes facts and figures on students and faculty, academics, facilities, extracurriculars, admissions, costs and financial aid.

The Complete Guide to the Gap Year: The Best Things to Do Between High School and College

This is the go-to book for anyone considering a year to re-charge, to follow a passion, to become immersed in another culture, or to find their love of learning again. It includes everything a student, parent, or guidance counselor would want to know about the gap year; including what a gap year is, what it is not, and why it can have a positive impact on a young life. Click here to read a review of this book.

The Guidance Manual for the Christian Home School: A Parent's Guide for Preparing Home School Students for College or Career

This manual provides Christian homeschoolers with a plan for preparing for schooling and career after high school graduation. The Callihans explore the college admissions process, college entrance, career preparation, future family life, and other related issues from a Christian perspective. Specific materials and resources are suggested. The Callihans also briefly address the issue of early graduation.

You're Gonna Miss the Prom: A True Life Account and Guide Book for Gifted Kids

This book is a guide for gifted kids who accelerate, home school or enter a college program. One author skipped high school and entered college at age 13, graduating at 16. This book details the process she took, the social questions and answers on entering early college, how to research laws and generally how to prepare to accelerate.

Printed Materials: Online Documents

College Admissions and the SAT: A Personal Perspective

The intent in this paper is to offer a personal perspective on the events that led to a major change in the SAT college admissions test. The new test will be in place for all students --nationwide--who must take the SAT as part of the admissions process for the college class entering in the fall of 2006. Hopefully, this account will be useful to those trying to change policies and practices deeply entrenched in our society.

Helping Gifted Children and Their Families Prepare for College: A Handbook Designed to Assist Economically Disadvantaged and First-Generation College Attendees

This book is a gold mine for families of all economic backgrounds who are homeschooling gifted children! Most homeschooling families do not have access to guidance services and must figure out the college entrance maze on their own, this book goes far in guiding parents and students through that process step by step. Multi-year planning is encouraged, and the book is sensitive to the unique issues of gifted college bound students coming from diverse backgrounds.

How Can I Help My Gifted Child Plan for College?

This online brochure by Sandra Berger, discusses early steps parents and their gifted children can take to prepare for college and to ensure that the college experience is positive.

Why college so young?

This article is compiled from selected excerpts from a testimonial written by a mother whose son is part of the Early Entrance Program at California State University, Los Angeles. In the article, she discusses her son's progress and experience in the EEP as well as background information leading up to this point in his education.

Printed Materials: Periodicals/Reports & Studies

Love and Work: The Legacy of Early University Entrance

Published by the University of Washington, this report is an overview of the second follow-up study discussing their early entrance program. It outlines the strengths, weaknesses, and evolution of various aspects including the fact that early entrants need a welcoming college or university environment. In addition, this report compiled by Kathleen Noble, Robert Vaughan, Christina Chan, Sarah Childers, Bryan Chow, Ariel Federow, and Sean Hughes reveals possible effects of acceleration and graduation rates.

The College Ladder: Linking Secondary and Postsecondary Education for Success for All Students

This online report reviews 22 programs that provide opportunities for high school students to earn college-level credit or take college-level courses to determine their impact on a range of student outcomes, including credits earned during high school, performance on high school tests, high school graduation rates, college-going rates, college remediation, college grades, retention in college, and degree and job market attainment. There is an emphasis on programs that traditionally serve high-achieving students, as well as those that serve first generation, low-income, and low-performing students and underrepresented minorities.

Schools & Programs: College Affiliated

Adelphi University (Garden City, NY) - Early Admission

Adelphi offers two early admission plans to qualified students who want to enter college prior to graduating from high school: either concurrent enrollment or by enrolling directly as full-time undergraduate students. Advanced Placement options are also available.

Allegany College of Maryland: Bedford County Campus - Early College Program (Somerset, PA)

This program allows high school students the opportunity to earn college credit while obtaining their high school diplomas. Students 16 and over receive a 50 percent discount on tuition.

Allegheny College (Meadville, PA) - Early Admission

At Allegheny College, secondary school students who wish to begin college study at the conclusion of the junior year may do so under a special enrollment plan.

Ann L. Burton Pre-Collegiate Scholarship Program - Wesley College

The Ann L. Burton Pre-Collegiate Scholarship program allows qualified high school juniors and seniors to earn up to 12 college credits tuition free, paying only the cost of their books and a $20 registration fee. Eligible students may take one, three-credit, course per semester during their junior and/or senior year.

Arkansas State University, Early Entrance/Dual Enrollment (Jonesboro, AR)

Arkansas State University accepts students who are not high school graduates if they have ALL the following: 18 units of high school credit including 3 units of English, 2 units of mathematics, 2 units of natural science, 3 units of social science, and not more than 2 units of activity credit; overall GPA of 3.25; ACT composite score of 19 or higher; and recommendation from the high school principal or superintendent. In addition, the early entrant must submit the credentials required of high school graduates except proof of graduation.

Bard College at Simon's Rock the Early College (Great Barrington, MA)

The only four-year college of the liberal arts and sciences designed specifically for students who are ready to enter college after the 10th or 11th grade, Simon's Rock has proven over five decades to be a much-needed answer and life-changing opportunity to young scholars ready to begin their higher education now. Simon’s Rock is a one-of-a-kind institution, leading the emerging early college “movement."

Bard College, Early Admissions (Annandale-on-Hudson, NY)

Candidates seeking admission to Bard before completing secondary school may be accepted if they have an exceptionally strong high school record and the recommendation of a guidance counselor or principal.

Bard High School Early College (New York, NY)

This alternative to the traditional high school is founded on the belief that many young people are ready and eager to do serious college work at age 16. It enables highly motivated students to move in four years from ninth grade through the first two years of college, earning the associate of arts (A.A.) degree as well as a high school diploma.

Barnard College - Pre-College Programs (New York, NY)

Early Admission allows exceptional high school students the opportunity to be admitted to Barnard in advance of their regular graduation date. Students who apply to Barnard through the Early Admission Program must demonstrate that they are academically and emotionally prepared for the rigors of college. Barnard Pre-College Program Summer Camp contains many options for summer acitivites as well!

Bates College, Early Admission (Lewiston, ME)

Extremely capable students are welcome to apply for college admsission before they have completed the normal four-year secondary-school program. Bates College looks forward to enrolling those who think they are prepared scholastically, and are sufficiently mature personally and socially, to undertake college work.

Bennington College, Early Entrance (Bennington, VT)

Qualified students who would like to enter Bennington before completing high school may apply for early entrance. Financial aid is availiable to early entrants who receive a passing score on a federally approved “ability to benefit” test (the SAT and ACT do not qualify).

Binghamton University, Early Admission (Binghamton, NY)

Applicants who have completed the junior year in high school but have not graduated may be considered for admission. Approval of such early admission is contingent on the student's meeting the normal entrance requirements (course units) and admission criteria.

Birmingham-Southern College, Early Admission (Birmingham, AL)

Applicants for early admission must submit all credentials required of first-year students. In addition, they must submit letters of permission from their parents, a high school counselor, and their principal, as well as a letter stating why they wish to be considered for early admission.

Bloomfield College, Early College Freshman Program (Bloomfield, NJ)

High school students who have completed the junior year and have demonstrated the academic and personal maturity to begin college level work may enroll as full-time students at Bloomfield College.

Bluefield State College - Special (Non-Matriculating) Student program (Bluefield, WV)

Bluefield State College is a public college located in Bluefield, West Virginia and offers high school students the opportunity to take courses as a special or nonmatriculated student, which is a student who wants to take baccalaureate courses but does not intend to pursue a bachelor’s degree yet.

Buffalo State College (BSC), Early Admission (Buffalo, NY)

Highly qualified high school juniors may apply to Buffalo State for full- or part-time study during their senior year under the early admission program. Dual credit is also applied if student's high school agrees to have remaining high school requirements fulfilled by taking appropriate freshman courses at BSC.

California State University, Accelerated College Entrance (Sacramento, CA)

Accelerated College Entrance (ACE) is a program by Cal State which encourages qualified high school students to enroll in university classes while completing regular school studies. Credits earned through this program may be applied to degree programs. High School students have the opportunity to study subject matter which may not otherwise be available to them. Students must maintain good academic standing with both the university and their high school. CSU also offers an Academic Talent Search Program which provides alternative education to highly able and motivated students in grades 6 through 9.

California State University, Early Entrance Program (EEP) (Los Angeles, CA)

Five-minutes from downtown L.A., this early entrance program allows outstanding young people to enter college as full-time students to pursue their baccalaureate degrees. Student from age 11 and up are accepted and have use of a suite of rooms on campus. All entering EEP students have a common schedule of curriculum. Additionally, EEP students are enrolled in the GE Honors Program, which provides select faculty and specially designed small classes with other University Honors students. Tuition costs are set by the regular fees charged by the University. The Washington Pre-College Test (WPCT, similar to the SAT I) is required to apply.

Center for Precollegiate Education and Training - University of Florida (UF-CPET) (Gainesville, FL)

This program promotes interaction between teachers, students, graduate students, researchers and industry stakeholders in science and technology education and training. Some programs include: Dual Credit Enrollment, Excursions in Science, Mini Medical School, Science Information for Teachers, Summer Science Institute and more.

Community College of Vermont (Montpelier, VT)

Community College of Vermont students include those still in high school, traditional-college-age students, adults seeking degrees or skill enhancement, and "life-long learners" taking courses for enjoyment. All are welcome, and enrollment process is designed to help each begin at the appropriate level and be successful in their courses. For this reason, the college may restrict enrollment in a particular course if a student's assessment scores or transcript do not indicate readiness.

Daniel Webster College (Nashua, NH)

DWC offers early admission to exceptionally well-qualified high school seniors who have not yet graduated, but have fewer than two units of high school course work remaining. Classes are kept small to allow you the opportunity to ask questions, discuss issues, and interact with your professors and fellow students.

Early College Program - Weber State University (Ogden, UT)

The Early College program at Weber State University (WSU) allows high school students early enrollment in college courses. Students may remain a member of their high school class, while receiving college credit applicable to colleges and universities across the country. Students work with guidance counselors from both WSU and their high school, and their parents to determine a course of study. Detailed information about the program can be obtained by contacting the Early College program directly through the address on the website. GPA of 3.0 and ACT of 22 recommended.

Early Experience Program - University of Denver (CO)

This program is designed for students in grades 10-12 of exceptional maturity and academic ability. Eligible students take regular University of Denver courses for undergraduate college credit. The program is offered during the regular school year and summer quarter. The cost is 50 percent of the normal tuition per credit hour.

Elgin Community College - Early enrollment (Elgin, IL)

Located in Elgin, Illinois, the Elgin Community College allows high school students ages 16 and up to enroll in six credit hours/semester with permission from their high school principal or guidance counselor. Students under 16 also may enroll if they are in a gifted or accelerated program and have permission from their school officials and the Associate Dean. The college also offers dual enrollment programs and accelerated college enrollment.

Emory University - Joint Enrollment (Atlanta, GA)

High school juniors in the Atlanta area can take college courses at Emory while enrolled in high school. Students usually have completed the junior year in their secondary school and must follow the same admission procedures as candidates for regular college admission.

Fort Hays State University (Hays, KS)

This University was ranked in the top 10 in three catagories in a study of more than 3000 college and university's websites and offers Advanced Placement and Advanced Standing Credit programs for high school students and homeschooled students are also encouraged to apply.

Friends University (Wichita, KS)

Friends University provides an education in the context of a Judeo-Christian perspective. Students are admitted based on their potential for achieving academic success. Early admission is open to high school seniors who are currently enrolled in high school. Concurrent enrollment is available to junior or senior high school students.

Gifted & Talented Education (GATE), The Honors College at Michigan State University (East Lansing, MI)

The various Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) programs offered through Michigan State University (MSU) are dedicated to promoting differentiated educational programs for students in grades 7-12. Mathematics Science and Technology (MST) is a two-week residential program for academically talented students. CHAMP is a regional program for students highly gifted in mathematics. ISHALL is an accelerated, intensive two-year course in literature and language designed to meet the curricular goals and merit standards of high school English, grades 7-10, in two years. Plus, there is also a dual enrollment program, a Michigan-Shiga Exchange program, a CSI Forensic Science program and several others listed on the website.

Harvard Extension School (Cambridge, MA)

Harvard Extension School offers 100 online courses and a unique blend of traditional liberal arts and professional studies programs. Classes are offered to students students with various backgrounds and academic experience. The course tuition is the “lowest in the Boston area.”

Kansas Academy of Mathematics and Sciences (KAMS) - Ft. Hays State University (Hays, KS)

Established by legislative action in 2006, the Kansas Academy of Mathematics and Science (KAMS) plans to be the state’s premier academic high school program for the best and brightest high school students. Based in part after successful programs in Missouri and Texas, KAMS is a unique residential learning experience that provides exceptional high school juniors and seniors a potent blend of college-level instruction by Ph.D. faculty; a high school diploma and 68 hours of college credit; and, the option to receive an associate’s degree upon graduation.

Lamar University - Early Access Program (LEAP) (Beaumont, TX)

The Lamar Early Access Program (LEAP) is a cooperative program between Lamar and participating high schools which allows high school seniors to take university courses in their high schools, taught by their high school teachers. Students enrolled in the program may receive both high school and college credit, concurrently, upon satisfactory completion of the course. The courses are regular offerings of the university, taught by carefully selected high school teachers who hold a master's degree in their teaching field.

Martin and Melva Bucksbaum Early Entrance Academy for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics - University of Iowa, Belin-Blank Center (Iowa City, IA)

The Bucksbaum Early Entrance Academy for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) is a residential high school for high-ability students that opens in the fall of 2016. The school will provide top students with a high-level curriculum, research opportunities; support students through the transition from high school to university; integrate STEM and the Arts/Humanities; collaborate with UI Honors; and capitalize on the Belin-Blank Center’s expertise in student programming and acceleration. Academy students are regular University students—taking classes, using libraries and labs, living in residence halls, and planning their studies. Like all other first-year students, students choose majors from any of the University’s undergraduate colleges. Yet early-entrance students have the advantage of living together in the honors residence hall, supported by meetings with the professionals at the world-renowned Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education, right next door.

MathOnline - University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (CO)

MathOnline allows gifted high school students the opportunity to take college courses, earning transferrable college credit upon successful completion of them. The courses are identical to the traditional courses offered to students on campus. Homework is completed on the same schedule as on-campus students, submitted through email or fax. There is no difference in tuition for in-state or out-of-state students.

Missouri Academy of Mathematics, Science and Computing - Northwest Missouri State University (Maryville, MO)

This school offers an accelerated, two-year residential program for students academically talented in science, mathematics or technology. This challenging program of college coursework is for the academically talented student who would like to join a two-year residential program that replaces the junior and senior years of high school with college classes, earning credits and working with professors and other like-minded students.

National Academy of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering (NAASE) (Iowa City, IA)

NAASE, at the Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education at the University of Iowa, gives gifted high school juniors the opportunity to complete university research and course work. Guidance counselors help students design a curriculum that is interesting, challenging, and achieves an undergraduate major. Students live and work with other high-achieving students in the Honors Residence Hall floor of the university. NAASE awards scholarships to students. The program requires a composite score of 30 on the ACT or SAT-I combined scores of 1300.

New Mexico Highlands University, Dual Enrollment/Early Admission (Las Vegas, NM)

The Dual Credit Program allows high school students to enroll in college courses in postsecondary institutions (universities, colleges, and community colleges) prior to high school graduation, giving them enrichment opportunities and first-hand experiences with the requirements of college-level work. Dual credit students receive both high school and college credit simultaneously. Tuition and standard fees are waived by NMHU for students participating in this program.

Open Yale Courses - Yale University (New Haven, CT)

Open Yale Courses provides free and open access to a selection of introductory courses taught by distinguished teachers and scholars at Yale University. The aim of the project is to expand access to educational materials for all who wish to learn. All lectures were recorded in the Yale College classroom and are available in video, audio, and text transcript format. Registration is not required and no course credit is available.

Pacific Union College - Early College (Angwin, CA)

This college in Angwin, CA, allows students who have completed two years of high school and passed their California High School Proficiency Exam to apply for admission by advanced enrollment. Students are required to have a minimum grade-point average of 3.5, provide recommendations and go through an interview. Students who are looking for more academically challenging work benefit from this early college program.

Postsecondary Enrollment Program with Minnesota Higher Education (Multiple Locations, MN)

The Post-Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) program in Minnesota allows high school juniors and seniors to take courses, full- or part-time, at a post-secondary institutions for high school credit. PSEO provides students with a greater variety of class offerings and the opportunity to pursue more challenging coursework than may be available at their high schools. Tuition, fees and required textbooks are at no cost to students. The program is administered through the Minnesota Department of Education.

Program for the Exceptionally Gifted (PEG) - Mary Baldwin College (Staunton, VA)

Located in Stauton, Virginia on the campus of Mary Baldwin College, this unique all-girl school offers an opportunity for bright and accomplished young women to complete college during their high school years while living in a fully supervised residence hall. Prospective students can apply from their eighth-grade year and on. Students are accepted based on giftedness, consistent academic achievement and personal maturity.

Robinson Center for Young Scholars at the University of Washington (Seattle, WA)

The University of Washington is home to an internationally unique and renowned resource for gifted students, the Halbert and Nancy Robinson Center for Young Scholars. For more than 25 years, the Robinson Center has been the gateway through which some of the brightest young scholars in Washington State enter the UW and/or participate in academically accelerated summer courses. The Early Entrance Program is the Robinson Center’s original early university entrance program. The UW Academy is the premier early university entrance program for high school students in Washington State. The Robinson Center for Young Scholars at the University of Washington offers summer academic programs for students finishing the 5th-10th grade.

Russell Sage College - Early College Program (Troy, NY)

Located in the Albany-Schenectady-Troy tri-city area, this college is exclusively for women providing students the opportunity to combine undergraduate and graduate study in accelerated bachelor's/master's degree sequences. Launched in Fall 2003 for talented high school juniors considering college enrollment instead of their senior year, the program also serves homeschooled students who may be advanced in their study and ready to move on to college regardless of their age.

Sarah Lawrence College Pre-College Programs for High School Students (Bronxville, NY)

Sarah Lawrence College provides distinctive, intensive programs for high school students on a campus 30 minutes from Midtown Manhattan. With small class sizes, students can enhance their academic experience and explore their passions in a supportive, non-competitive environment. Non-residential programs are offered in the spring and fall, and both non-residential and residential programs are offered in the summer.

Scottsdale Community College - Achieving a College Education (ACE) Program (Scottsdale, AZ)

Achieving a College Education (ACE) is a nationally recognized, scholarship-based early outreach and college preparation program for high school students. The ACE Program targets students who may not consider going to college. The mission of the ACE Program is to academically prepare students, increase graduation rates among first generation college bound students, and to assist students in making a seamless transition from high school into community college and then to transfer into a four-year university to complete a baccalaureate degree.

Shepherd College - Early Admission (Shepherdstown, WV)

Shepherd College is a co-ed, public four-year college located in Sheperdstown, West Virginia that offers early admission for students who have completed three years of high school.

Shimer College (Chicago, IL) - Early Entrance

Gifted high school students can enter college early through the Early Entrant Program at Shimer College. Early entrants are automatically awarded a Robert Maynard Hutchins Scholarship in recognition of their academic potential.

Tennessee Tech University (TTU) - Dual/Joint Enrollment or Early Admission (Cookeville, TN)

This University offers high school students a dual enrollment program after completing their junior year without graduating from high school. Students usually enter in the summer term.

Texas Academy of Leadership in the Humanities - Lamar University (Beaumont, TX)

The Texas Academy of Leadership in the Humanities (TALH) is a public coeducational residential high school located in Beaumont, Texas. Academy students fulfill their junior and senior high school requirements by taking university classes and earning college credit. TALH is known as a highly selective high school for gifted and talented students eager for an enriched intellectual program enhanced by the disciplines of the humanities.

The Advanced Academy of Georgia - Early College (Carrollton, GA)

The Advanced Academy of Georgia is a residential, early-entrance-to-college program for gifted and talented high school-aged students. Students are usually 11th & 12th graders, but they occasionally accept younger high ability students. The program is located on the University of West Georgia campus.

The Carol Martin Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science (Bowling Green, KY)

Western Kentucky University (WKU) houses the Carol Martin Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science offering a residential program for bright, highly motivated Kentucky high school students who have demonstrated interest in pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

The Clarkson School - Clarkson University (Potsdam, NY)

This early entrance college program, located in upstate New York, provides students a chance to take freshmen college classes during what would be the senior year of high school. Clarkson offers a degree program that permits students to design an individualized curriculum to meet personal career objectives.

The Early College at Guilford (Greensboro, NC)

This non-residential, dual-enrollment program is located in North Carolina, on the Guildford College campus. This early college program accepts students living in Guilford and is tailored for self-motivated students who wish to receive their high school diploma while accomplishing two years of undergraduate work.

The High School at Moorpark College (Moorpark, CA)

Located near Los Angeles, this college offers a unique opportunity for high school juniors and seniors to have a non-traditional experience by enrolling in college level courses while taking high school required classes.

UConn Early College Experience (ECE) (CT)

This is a concurrent enrollment program that allows motivated high school students to take UConn courses at their high schools for both high school and college credit. Every course taken through UConn ECE is equivalent to the same course at the University of Connecticut. Students benefit by taking college courses in a warm setting that is both familiar and conducive to learning.

University at Buffalo (UB), The State University of New York, Early Admission (Buffalo, NY)

While completing their junior year in high school, exceptional applicants may be considered for early admission to the freshman class. Students enrolling via this option generally have only one or two remaining high school requirements, which they complete as part of their freshman course load at the university.

University of Alabama - Early College/Dual Enrollment (Tuscaloosa, AL)

Certain high-school students are allowed to enroll in college-level courses in order to earn credits that apply to both undergraduate degrees and high-school diplomas. Students who have exceptionally high grades and high ACT or SAT scores and who have strong endorsements from their high schools and parents may also be considered for admission without completing the senior year of high school.

University of Alaska Anchorage (Anchorage, AK)

Secondary school students who have not earned a high school diploma can earn high school and college credit by taking courses at the University of Alaska, Anchorage.

University of Florida Dual Enrollment (Gainesville, FL)

In the Center for Precollegiate Education and Training, high school students are provided the opportunity to enroll in classes at the University of Florida. They will receive both high school and college credit.

University of Maine, Early Admission (Presque Isle, ME)

UM offers an early route within the University structure for juniors who have exhibited superior achievement in high school and who desire to begin the first year of college instead of returning to the secondary school for their senior year. Approval from the superintendent, principal, guidance counselor, and parent or guardian are required to attest to the student's readiness for college. A Pre-College Experience Program is also available to juniors and seniors in high school.

University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) - Early Studies Program (Las Vegas, NV)

This program provides highly-motivated high school students an opportunity to get a head start on their college education by enrolling in UNLV courses before high school graduation. Early Studies Students also have the opportunity to earn dual credit (university and high school credit) with the approval of their high school counselor. In addition, Early Studies Students receive full access to elite Academic Success Center (ASC) resources, such as tutoring, advising and academic success coaching.

University of North Florida - Dual Enrollment and Early Admission Program (Jacksonville, FL)

The University of North Florida is a comprehensive public urban university whose mission is to educate students through a broad array of undergraduate and select graduate programs. The Early Admission Program provides opportunities for talented students to enroll in college prior to high school graduation. Students who wish to apply for early admission at UNF must be recommended by appropriate high school officials.

University of Sourthern California, The Resident Honors Program (RHP) (Los Angeles, CA)

This program accepts high school students who have the social and emotional maturity to function independently as college freshmen, and who want to trade their senior year of high school for their freshman year of college. Interested students should have a record of success in high school, such as honors and AP or IB courses, summer programs and special talents in music, cinema, or the performing arts. The core curriculum is designed around small courses, which are taught by many of the University's faculty, and one-on-one tutorials.

Wake Early College of Health and Sciences (Raleigh, NC)

Wake Early College allows students to graduate from high school in four or five years with a diploma and college credits. Graduates typically earn enough credits to secure an associate's degree and/or be able to enter a four-year college as a junior.

West Virginia University ACCESS program (Morgantown, WV)

Advanced high school students may enroll in West Virginia University (WVU) courses through the ACCESS program. Credit for courses will be recorded on an official WVU transcript. This college credit applies to a student's academic progress at WVU or may be transferred to other institutions of higher education. Whether these credits count toward high school graduation is a decision of the Board of Education of the county in which the student resides.

Western Iowa Tech Community College (Sioux City, IA)

This Sioux City, Iowa school offers over 70 liberal arts and technical programs, including courses in fields such as Auto Collision Repair Technology, Pre-Dental Hygiene and Biotechnology. Courses are also taught in conventional fields, such as English and Education. There are also options at WITCC for students under 16 who wish to pursue a higher education through specific classes. Contact admissions for application process.

Young Scholars Program, University of Pennsylvania's College of General Studies (Philadelphia, PA)

The University of Pennsylvania's College of General Studies offers an opportunity for academically exceptional local high school students to take college courses with Penn students and earn full college credit. The Young Scholars program is open to high school juniors and seniors.

Schools & Programs: Independent

HEROES Academy (Highland Park, NJ)

HEROES Academy is an independent college-high school committed to guiding exceptionally gifted students toward reaching their highest potential through student-directed independent projects and challenging coursework matched to their individual abilities and goals. HEROES Academy offers mixed-aged programs with enrollment based strictly on the demonstrated ability of the students. HEROES does not have a minimum age for participation. The majority of the students served by HEROES are between the ages of 11-16. HEROES serves students up to the age of 18.

ISA High School

ISA High School has been a leading provider of high-quality, affordable, cultural and language immersion programs for high school students since 1989. Their mission is to provide students with a transformative experience aimed at fostering independence, cross-cultural sensitivity and global citizenship. Based in Austin, Texas, ISA High School works closely with fully-accredited foreign universities and the ISA High School resident staff in each program location to provide cultural activities, tutoring services, language exchanges, volunteer opportunities, and numerous possibilities for improving language performance. Students earn college credit, experience another culture and explore the area around their program city through cultural excursions.

Itineris Early College High School (West Jordan, UT)

This school allows gifted high schoolers to advance in their school careers at an amazing rate while remaining with peers of similar age and intelligence.

St. John's College (Annapolis, MD/Santa Fe, NM)

St. John's College is a private, liberal arts college with two U.S. campuses: one in Annapolis, Maryland, and one in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Since 1937, it has followed a distinctive curriculum, the Great Books Program, based on discussion of works from the Western canon of philosophical, religious, historical, mathematical, scientific, and literary works. The school also is receptive to early college students.

St. Louis Unviersity High School (SLUH), (St. Louis, MO)

SLUH is a highly selective, Jesuit, four-year, private university that helps develop each student in an environment that fosters the growth of the whole person. Its curriculum is designed to challenge the abilities of students while engaging their interest. Also offered are a wide variety of summer programs for both grade school and high school students. Advanced Placement and Advanced College Credits can be earned through courses taught by high school teachers for both high school credit and college credit.

Schools & Programs: Math & Science Programs

Georgia Academy of Aviation, Mathematics, Engineering, and Science (GAMES), (Cochran, GA)

GAMES is an accelerated prorgram for juniors and seniors on the Middle Georgia College campus in Cochran, Georgia. The program gives students the opportunity to spend their last two years of high school at Middle Georgia College, during which they will earn their high school diploma AND their Associate Degree in fields of math or science. Rising high school juniors and seniors are elgible for the program as long as they meet the stringent admission criteria.

Schools & Programs: Public

Chandler-Gilbert Community College (CGCC) - Dual Enrollment (Chandler, AZ)

Chandler-Gilbert Community College (CGCC) partners with east valley high schools to offer dual enrollment credit for academic and occupational classes. Dual enrollment courses are held on high school campuses and are taught by high school instructors who have met community college hiring qualifications.

Summer Programs: MidAtlantic Region

Barnard College - Summer in the City (New York, NY)

A co-educational pre-college program for high school juniors and seniors at Barnard in partnership with Columbia University. The Barnard College Summer in New York City program offers young students a unique opportunity to sample pre-college courses, while exploring New York City both in and out of the classroom. With the four-week session, one-week mini courses, or the Young Women's Leadership Institute, studies could include visiting an art gallery, attending a poetry slam, or meeting city leaders.

Summer Programs: MidWestern Region

Precollege/Dual Enrollment Program - Missouri State University (Springfield, MO)

This program is for high school juniors and seniors who would like to get a head start on college. The Precollege Program provides high-achieving high school students the opportunity to take college courses on campus before graduation. Some of the benefits of the Precollege Program include: receiving college credit while still in high school; getting acquainted with being on a college campus; making connections with college students, faculty and staff; and the opportunity to take courses in subjects not available in some high schools.

Summer Programs: NorthEastern Region

Maine College of Art (MCA), Summer Program (Portland, ME)

Pre-College at MCA is an intensive residency program for approximately 40 motivated high school students that offers participants a chance to experience what life is like in an art school, to form friendships, and to earn college credit. The 4-week program allows students to focus on a major and work with that medium in-depth, developing specialized skills and a familiarity with the tools and materials. The curriculum also includes foundation classes in Drawing and Design.

Summer Programs: Southern Region

July Experience at Davidson College (Davidson, NC)

The Davidson July Experience seeks to provide rising high school seniors the opportunity for a unique educational, social and creative three-week program on the campus of Davidson College.

Websites & Other Media: Informational

College Results Online (CRO)

College Results Online (CRO) is an interactive, user-friendly Web tool designed to provide policymakers, counselors, parents, students, and others with information about college graduation rates for nearly any four-year college or university in the country. CRO allows users to: Examine colleges' graduation rates, and see how those rates have changed over time; Compare graduation rates of similar colleges serving similar students; Learn about colleges' track records in graduating diverse groups of students.

College Confidential was founded to demystify many aspects of the college admissions process, and to help even "first timer" students and parents understand the process like 'old pros.' This website helps with topics such as: College Search and Selection; College Admissions; Financial Aid and Planning; College Counseling; and, College Life.

Doogie Howser, M.D., Ph.D., Ed.D.: The Myths and Realities of Gifted Students in Higher Education

In this paper, Rosemary J. Perez compiles information from published literature, observations from the field, and personal communication to characterize gifted students and address the myths and realities of gifted student development.

Early Entrance Foundation

The Early Entrance Foundation supports educational programs specifically designed to permit academically talented students (ages 11-15) from diverse backgrounds to enroll in college as full time students, and to provide the support, guidance and counseling necessary to prepare them for success at the university level.

Fiske Guides to Colleges

For more than 25 years, the Fiske Guides have been an indispensable source of information for college-bound students and their parents.

Institute for Research and Policy on Acceleration (IRPA) State Policy Map

The Institute for Research and Policy on Acceleration (IRPA) is dedicated to the study of curricular acceleration for academically talented students. This is the map of the acceleration practices and policies in each of the 50 states.

Peterson's Education Portal

This website is searchable education resource with links to information on colleges and universities, graduate programs, financial aid, test preparation, private secondary schools, distance learning, career education, summer opportunities, and studying abroad.

Sallie Mae - Plan For College - College Ahead

This is a destination for getting a head start on preparing for the world of continuing education. You'll find pointers on the entire "Going-to-College" process from preparation to getting loans. College Answer also has interactive tools that enable you to analyze the affordability of schools, compare financial aid award letters, and search for scholarships.

The Early College High School Initiative

This program allows students from small schools to graduate with an Associate of Arts degree or enough college credits to enter a four-year, baccalaureate program as a college junior. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Ford Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, have provided funding to establish more than 130 Early College High Schools by 2010.

United Planet - Gap Year Volunteering

United Planet Quests are designed to be immersive, authentic, comprehensive and provide students with everything they need to succeed. The program elements allow students to engage fully with a new culture, forge strong relationships, and challenge themselves. Most importantly, United Planet partners with communities to ensure student experiences will be important, relevant and helpful.


Vedu provides a video essay platform for college applications and facilitates online meeting points for student interviews.


This website is packed with college-bound information including: learning how to plan for college; finding the right college and visiting campuses online; finding your dream job and learning how to get it; and learning about, calculating and applying for financial aid. Xap is the first company to directly partner with associations and institutions of higher learning to develop regional, university-approved Mentor websites. A Mentor site, as its name connotes, utilizes the Internet to efficiently guide students through the comparison, selection, and application to admission and financial aid stages of preparing for college.